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Freshwater and Marine Ecology MSc

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Duration 2 semesters
Entry level Bachelor
Cost £12,950 UK/EU, £22,750 non-EU/UK

Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. Because of this, trained ecology professionals who can effectively manage the ecosystem process are in high-demand across the world. Do this course and be part of reducing the risk to services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience.

  • Choose a field course to either Cape Verde to work on sea turtle conservation projects, or to Borneo to focus on ecological processes in tropical rainforests
  • Fieldwork in Dorset at the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome
  • High-profile guest lecturers
  • Specialist skills prepare you for a career in environmental protection, conservation agencies, the water industry or PhD research
  • Access to analytical, mesocosm and temperature-controlled facilities within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment
Structural components
Practical/Field work

Application procedure

Use the online application forms for the course according to your prefred study mode: full-time programme formpart-time programme form. You must provide the following supporting documentation:

  • Completed application form
  • Degree transcripts
  • Two references
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)/ Resume

Although not mandatory, you are encouraged to send in the following documents in support of your application: 

  • Statement of purpose (should explain why you want to study your chosen programme and how it will help your life and career. Typically one side of A4 paper.)
  • IELTS/TOEFL certificate (if applicable) or other acceptable proof

Application Deadline: there is no fixed closing date for applications but you should remember that decisions on applications will be made as quickly as possible and popular programmes may become full so we advise applying as soon as possible. 

Grant opportunities

There are a number of ways you can fund your postgraduate degree.

Our Advice and Counselling service offers specialist support on financial issues, which you can access as soon as you apply for a place at Queen Mary. Before you apply, you can access our funding guides and advice on managing your money:

Learning outcomes

Learn the skills needed to kick-start your career in this exciting and evolving field. This multifaceted programme balances ecological theory, conservation biology and evolutionary biology with practical application.

We aim to ground your studies in insightful practical training, so that you’re familiar with industry-standard equipment and practice. To establish these skills and more, you will have the choice of working on a sea turtle conservation project in Cape Verde or learning about ecological processes in the tropical rainforest in Borneo. You will also visit the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome in Dorset.

You’ll build empirical and analytical skills through our taught modules. You’ll study how ecological theory, used alongside population genetics and evolutionary theory, can be applied to understanding current ecological issues. You’ll critically analyse aspects of the Metabolic Theory of Ecology, body-size relationships, stable isotope analysis and delve into the informative area of DNA barcoding, while getting a firm grasp on the biogeochemistry and organismal physiology in an ever-evolving world.

We’ll also bring you face to face with the regulators, policies and their science base, as these potential employers (eg CEFAS, Defra, the Environment Agency, Natural England) will give lectures on topical issues.



Degree requirements

A 2:1 or above at undergraduate level in a relevant subject such as Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry or Geography.

Applicants with a good 2:2 degree may be considered on an individual basis.


Find out more about how to apply for our postgraduate taught courses.

English language requirements

If you got your degree in an English speaking country or if it was taught in English, and you studied within the last five years, you might not need an English language qualification - find out more.

The minimum English Language requirements for entry to postgraduate degree programmes within the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences are:

6.5 overall including 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa.

ISCED Categories

Policy and governance
Marine Geology